When the Wind Kicked Up

I was recently telling a friend about how I haven’t been writing the last few days.

I had challenged myself to write daily for 28 days as part of my most recent Flow Challenge, where the goal is getting into that yummy state of flow.

There have been lots of reasons I’ve gotten distracted lately.

One of them is a weekly exercise class done completely on a paddleboard in the bay. A friend coaxed me to join the class with her last week.

Yesterday was my second time trying it out, and it was windy.

We started by doing laps from one channel marker to the next, amidst big sailboats and moored dinghies.

Before I knew it, we were pretty far out and it was time to return to the dock.

As we turned to head back, I realized we were paddling against the wind.

My muscles were tired from the workout, my friend was miles ahead. It was us against the elements, and some of the other students were doing much better in the battle than I was.

For a brief moment, I panicked.

Would I make it?

Could I steer my way back in?

Each time I thought I was making headway, the wind laughed and pushed me far off course, or at least away from the path I had mapped out in my mind.

It was obvious I had only one choice.

I could paddle as hard as I could or get blown to some far away country.

I focused my eyes on my endpoint, buried the blade of the paddle in the water, practiced everything our teacher had taught us, and dug deep.

At first it was just plain hard work.

I was completely aware of all the things I wasn’t doing right, everything that was not working, and all those who were doing better than I was.

But the harder I paddled and the more I experimented with my technique until I was finally going somewhat straight, something clicked.

Maybe it was simply survival instinct, but I snapped into the zone.

I could think of nothing else.

I was in flow.

Sometimes, things don’t go quite as planned.

We get distracted, off course, or far from what we thought our life, day or moment was supposed to look like.

When this happens, our only option is often to dig deep, do our best, paddle our hearts out and enjoy the ride.

With all the changes and challenges of this Covid-19 summer, flexibility and the ability to paddle hard in areas that are out of our comfort zone seem to be the name of the game.

Wherever the wind is blowing you today, even if something unexpected has happened, I hope you are able to find your way again, perhaps even to somewhere better.

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